February 11, 2014

Stormy Weather

Here's The REAL Policy

Over the last couple of weeks, IAPE members from Atlanta to Allagash have reached out to the Union wondering about storm days at Dow Jones. And since, just yesterday, a manager in New York decided to remind Americas Copy Desk staff about the perils of working from home during stormy weather, we thought it might be helpful if we again explain the REAL policy regarding your obligations during severe weather events.

Since 1997, IAPE-represented employees have been protected by a negotiated agreement concerning "Severe Weather Emergencies." The document explaining the terms of that agreement is posted here.

In short, if a state of emergency is declared AND the roads or transit system you use to get to work have been closed by government order, you are not expected to come to work AND you are still entitled to pay for the day.

If you decide to stay home because you believe it is too dangerous to commute (but roads or transit have not been officially closed), you may be docked for the day's pay or forced to use a vacation day or personal day, BUT the choice to remain home is yours AND you must not be disciplined for making that decision.

This next part is important — ALWAYS INFORM YOUR MANAGER OF YOUR PLANS — especially if your travel/work plans change.

If you choose to work from home and you are able to do so, we certainly have no objection. Unfortunately, some DJ managers seem to prefer their employees to work in the office or not at all. So, if you step outside some morning and find a foot of snow, flood water or locusts in your driveway and you decide you can't safely commute to work, call or email your manager. If that person prefers no work at all to working from home, so be it.

If you have any questions about the IAPE/DJ Severe Weather Policy, please let me know — or contact IAPE officers Bob Kozma or Rob Johnson.

(Note: with yet another winter storm forecast for the East Coast this week, this memo obviously applies more immediately to those of us who will be dealing with commutes affected by snow and ice — but the same policy holds true for any IAPE-represented employee at Dow Jones & Company. If a severe weather event ever hampers your ability to travel safely to your work location, keep this policy in mind. The IAPE office will be closed during/after the storm on Thursday, as well as on Monday in observance of President's Day.)

Tim Martell, Executive Director
IAPE TNG/CWA Local 1096